Waste materials are a major environmental problem, which is a threat to the environment. It is important to reuse these materials and dispose of them. Waste can be used in the construction industry in two ways: by reusing (reuse components) and recycling (processing waste into raw materials used in the production of building materials).
It’s no wonder that construction waste is leading producer of pollution in our country, representing over 40% of their make-up. Making strides in reducing construction waste, we can conserve landfill space and reduce the need for new landfills. We can also reduce the production of greenhouse gases and other pollutants created in landfills.
Deconstruction before Demolition
One way to reduce these construction wastes is to start with a dismantling of a building, called deconstruction, prior to a complete demolition. Deconstruction involves dismantling the structure in an effort to collect construction materials for reuse. Through deconstruction, materials like windows, plumbing fixtures, ceiling and floor tiles, or large pieces of lumber are removed in for use in new construction or renovation.
What Can Be Recycled or Reused
Common C&D that can be recycled include:
• Metal
• Concrete
• Drywall
• Brick
• Roofing
• Drywall
• Plastic
• Asphalt
• Wood
• Glass
Same strength can be provided using these recycled products over new ones.
What Should Not Be Reused
Lead paint
Lead paint can be planed, removed and recycled at a lead smelter. The wood can be reused.
Removal of asbestos is required before any deconstruction or demolition can take place. It must be disposed of in landfills that are approved to accept asbestos-containing materials.